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updated: 11/9/2017 7:52 PM

Des Plaines apartment complex for people with physical disabilities opens

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  • Robert Brixius, a 30-year Des Plaines native presently residing in assisted living in Bensenville, and his sister, Judy Kenning of Des Plaines, visit the grand opening of the Midtown Crossing Apartments on Graceland Avenue in Des Plaines Thursday. He will be moving into the four-story, 33-unit apartment building for people with physical disabilities.

      Robert Brixius, a 30-year Des Plaines native presently residing in assisted living in Bensenville, and his sister, Judy Kenning of Des Plaines, visit the grand opening of the Midtown Crossing Apartments on Graceland Avenue in Des Plaines Thursday. He will be moving into the four-story, 33-unit apartment building for people with physical disabilities.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Eric Huffman, right, executive director of Over the Rainbow, speaks during the grand opening of the Midtown Crossing Apartments on Graceland Avenue in Des Plaines Thursday. Over the Rainbow, an Evanston-based nonprofit, built a four-story, 33-unit apartment building for people with disabilities. At left is Joreen Wood, founder of Over the Rainbow.

      Eric Huffman, right, executive director of Over the Rainbow, speaks during the grand opening of the Midtown Crossing Apartments on Graceland Avenue in Des Plaines Thursday. Over the Rainbow, an Evanston-based nonprofit, built a four-story, 33-unit apartment building for people with disabilities. At left is Joreen Wood, founder of Over the Rainbow.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • An apartment is ready for occupancy as a tour passes through the hallway during the grand opening of the Midtown Crossing Apartments on Graceland Avenue in Des Plaines Thursday. Over the Rainbow, an Evanston-based nonprofit, built a four-story, 33-unit apartment building for people with disabilities.

      An apartment is ready for occupancy as a tour passes through the hallway during the grand opening of the Midtown Crossing Apartments on Graceland Avenue in Des Plaines Thursday. Over the Rainbow, an Evanston-based nonprofit, built a four-story, 33-unit apartment building for people with disabilities.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Karin Roman, client services coordinator for the Illinois Housing Development Authority, views artwork displayed in a hallway during the grand opening of the Midtown Crossing Apartments on Graceland Avenue in Des Plaines Thursday. Over the Rainbow, an Evanston-based nonprofit, built a four-story, 33-unit apartment building for people with disabilities.

      Karin Roman, client services coordinator for the Illinois Housing Development Authority, views artwork displayed in a hallway during the grand opening of the Midtown Crossing Apartments on Graceland Avenue in Des Plaines Thursday. Over the Rainbow, an Evanston-based nonprofit, built a four-story, 33-unit apartment building for people with disabilities.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • This is an exterior view of the Midtown Crossing Apartments on Graceland Avenue in Des Plaines Thursday. Over the Rainbow, an Evanston-based nonprofit, built a four-story, 33-unit apartment building for people with disabilities.

      This is an exterior view of the Midtown Crossing Apartments on Graceland Avenue in Des Plaines Thursday. Over the Rainbow, an Evanston-based nonprofit, built a four-story, 33-unit apartment building for people with disabilities.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • A kitchen of an apartment unit is shown at the Midtown Crossing Apartments on Graceland Avenue in Des Plaines Thursday. Over the Rainbow, an Evanston-based nonprofit, built a four-story, 33-unit apartment building for people with disabilities.

      A kitchen of an apartment unit is shown at the Midtown Crossing Apartments on Graceland Avenue in Des Plaines Thursday. Over the Rainbow, an Evanston-based nonprofit, built a four-story, 33-unit apartment building for people with disabilities.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

It's been a long time coming, but new housing in Des Plaines for people with physical disabilities finally arrived, with a grand opening held Thursday.

The project, proposed by Evanston-based nonprofit Over the Rainbow, faced setbacks for more than a year while aldermen debated whether to approve zoning code variations requested by the organization. Some aldermen were concerned by some variance requests, including permission to provide half the parking spaces and to build on a smaller lot than required by code.

But the proposal for Midtown Crossing Apartments, a four-story, 33-unit complex on the south side of downtown, eventually gained widespread support and was approved in September 2016. Construction began in January.

The building at 751 Graceland Ave. is within one-third of a mile from downtown shopping and public transportation. The single-room apartments provide barrier-free, affordable and accessible housing for people with disabilities, the organization has said.

The development is the organization's 11th apartment community.

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